new-york

Jamie Isenstein

Andrew Kreps Gallery

“Live” art is for the living; by extension, it can die. Narratives around performance art have begun to adopt the language of endangered-species programs, with words like re-creation and preservation becoming switch points for whole epistemological struggles. For Jamie Isenstein, whose signature style features sculptures that use parts of her own living body as material, mortality itself is the linchpin. Some of her is always already gone: In Magic Fingers, 2003, for instance, Isenstein sits hidden behind a wall and displays only her hand, shown in a gilded frame, as it assumes various poses adapted from paintings and sculptures in an art-history textbook; in Saw the Lady, 2007, she lies largely immobile for long stretches of time in the bottom half of a magician’s trick box, “headless,” with only her feet protruding. When Isenstein is not present to “flesh out” her sculptures, she places

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